Darkfield return to London with all three of their mutisensory shows; Seance and Flight which were previously seen at the Vault Festival and Coma making its London debut after a run at the 2019 Edinburgh Fesitval Fringe
Experiencing all three in one afternoon is quite an experience. Both Seance and Flight were familiar to me and all three shows offer short but intense experiences; pitch black darkness, small spaces and supernatural themes feature prominently in all three. If you attend all three you can see a development of Darkfield as a producer. Seane’s simple table set gives way to darkness and what I call as horror ASMR experience. Where are you and why are you being asked if you are on fire? Seance is a great introduction to Darkfield brand, if you cannot handle the idea of contacting the dead then maybe avoid the more intense Flight and Coma
Flight as a production takes things up a notch, despite being in darkness for the majority of the experience an airline seating arrangement has been constructed; from safety cards to overhead lockers to boarding passes with the intent of splitting up those who have come to enjoy this experience together. Flight is more about distorting its audience sense of time and place, the physical shakes along with a warped inflight video. There is a lot of sensory overload to overcompensate for the lack of vision. Your brain tries to find light in the darkness, creating physical shadows that cannot exist, it tries to pick up on the various conversations, find deeper meanings when the goal is merely to unsettle. If you have a fear of flying avoid Flight but if you want a brief but intense immersive experience Flight has an interesting set and interesting idea of what happens in plane crashes.
Coma was a new experience and is some ways an emotionally darker one. The bunk bed set up means you can lay down and any theatre that has me lying down cannot lose. In Coma the audience can choose to take a pill (a mere placebo) before being plunged into darkness with scents and memories attempting to take over in the darkness. Whilst Seance and Flight have a supernatural horror element the horror in Coma is feasible if a little disturbing.
Situated in Montgomery Square in the heart of Canary Wharf it was nice to see a mixture of audience members; those taking extended lunch breaks and hopefully those who just want to enjoy Darkfield’s work. The use of location and presenting their work together makes Darkfield one of the more interesting immersive experiences, relying on expert sound design and an audience willing to take a risk. If you haven’t experienced their work, now is the time to do so
Darkfield’s trilogy is on until 21 September at various times. If you book all three tickets on one day you get a free drink from their 640 East bar https://canarywharf.com/arts-events/events/darkfield-sept-2019/?instance_id=